Last weekend AEGEE-Brno organized a Special Czechoslovakian weekend. Its date coincided with the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in November 1989; the program focused on PR and closer cooperation between the participating antennae.

By Erik Rédli, AEGEE-Bratislava

Having a great time: participants of the Czechoslovakian meeting

Situated in the middle of the Czech Republic, in the Morava region, the meeting resembled the scenery from old Czech comedies and also reminded of the Czech hospitality. The whole Czechoslovakian weekend ended on the 17th of November, which is important for both countries twofold. In November 1939, Nazis in Prague killed nine students who participated in the demonstrations against the German occupation. On this very day in November 1989, students joined the protests that resulted in the Velvet Revolution.

That’s why I started from the end, to point out the historical background of the Czechoslovakian Weekend for students. Indeed, students do not hesitate to join any gathering in order to avoid school. Sometimes, such events can make history. Participating in organised and meaningful extracurricular activities develops the skills school would never provide. AEGEE events are aware of this learning and try to focus on the soft skills and social networking.

AEGEE-Plzen presenting their Beer event in January

The programme of the Czechoslovakian weekend aimed at the working of AEGEE antennae in terms of fundraising, effective recruitment and inter-antennae cooperation. Organized by AEGEE-Brno, it was held in the small village Sklené. The participants from Prague, Plzeň and the only Slovak antenna Bratislava were arriving on Friday afternoon; it was already dark when our car with Bratislava mark parked at the tourist sleepover at the end of the village.

The first evening was full of sharing the impressions and adventures from recent events that are sometimes hard to believe, like who missed his plane or what kind of accommodation did the Spanish Agora organisers provide. AEGEE-Brno provided a dinner, hot tea and home baked ginger cake. Later at night, we played some ice-breaking games.

Next morning after breakfast we had a short energiser, when we had to follow dance moves of “Hippo and dog” on the screen. Then we got down to some more serious business. Each antenna presented their agenda, focusing on what they achieved and what they plan for the future. Presentations preceded brainstorming about the future plans, possible cooperation and sharing ideas. The beer event by AEGEE-Plzeň in January, in the city which is home of the Pilsner beer, sounded good. Some proposals on fundraising were also made; we will try to address particular organisations, hope that Danone would not put us off with yogurts.

Erik Redli
The author of this article, Erik Rédli (AEGEE-Bratislava)

During the lunch break, most of the people decided to visit nearby Zelená Hora. There is a baroque church with unique, star-shaped architectonical design. It is included in the Unesco World Heritage list. About four, we gathered in the canteen again for a lecture on social media and their effectiveness for AEGEE. It addressed advertising options on the social platform, mailing boxes and advice on what to avoid on social media. Did you know that your status is put into attention of only 16% of your Facebook friends due to the system settings? This Lecture was followed by a discussion and ideas, once again about fundraising and promotion.

After the dinner, the antennae participated in a quiz about our countries. An average Czech drinks about 160 litres of beer a year and there are three international airports in Slovakia. Karaoke followed, the victors were the AEGEE-Praha members with their performance of the Duck Tales theme song. After karaoke, someone brought in the lemons and we enjoyed a few drinks and friendly debates, for example on what is the difference between a debate and a discussion. Music played all night and some people kept dancing until 6 a.m.

On Sunday morning, the organizers summed up the whole event and reminded us to leave our rooms empty and tidy. Full of new experience, friends and with a shortage of sleep, the participants set out to their way home. Big Thank You to the organizers and participants and hope to see you all – and even more – at next year’s Czechoslovakian Weekend!